is defined as modernization, restoration, redecoration, refurbishment, revamping,
makeover, reconditioning, rehabilitation, overhauling, repair,
rebuilding, redevelopment, reconstruction, remodeling, updating,
improvement, upgrading, and refitting.
So, when I had a financial upheaval in January 2013, I was forced to vacate my premises, where I resided for six years. I had three move-in options that all dissipated, one by one, leaving me homeless, that is, without a place to move my belongings. By providence, my friend MG, who was helping me move, had a vacant room in her townhouse. She said, immediately, “put your things in storage and move in with me for a while.”
This was music to my ears, at that moment, on February 13, because I had no idea what to do. I was in the middle of my own personal perfect storm, wondering how I could survive. There was my friend of 20 years, offering her love, support, home, and comfort. I had a little money, so the storage unit, truck rental, and movers were paid for. However, I didn’t have a job or enough money to pay to move into a place, by the end of February. Fortunately, my car was paid off, so I had reliable transportation. But how long could I stay there with her?
The best laid plans of mice, men, and Joan! Whew!
Turns out the Universe had a plan for me that was far better than my plan. I stayed with my friend in her townhouse, located 1.5 miles from Hollywood Beach, Florida, for six months, which was probably five months longer than she or I anticipated. We grocery shopped together, drank good wine and ate good meals together, and watched movies on her widescreen TV.
My room was comfortable and there was WiFi, so I could complete my PhD course assignments and do the work I do for my non-profit. I didn’t really know where I was going to wind up but I kept a positive outlook and when I thought about being depressed, my friend reminded me of the blessings I had. So, I sucked up my tears and thought about how fortunate I am to have a good friend like her and a cool place to live in the hot Florida sun.
Just to rewind, 10 years earlier, I was engaged in renovating four homes, two in Florida and two in Georgia. I had plenty of money in the bank and Home Depot was my store of choice. Now, 10 years later, my bank account was nearly empty and I was sharing a home with a friend. How things change in the course of life.
Never ever doubt the Universe!
In May, I was invited to attend a Women in Music conference in Italy. I laughed because I had about $50 in the bank and the airline ticket alone was $1,600. Lo and behold, my non-profit organization members and my friends donated $3.645 to my crowdfunding site at www.gofundme.com/jc-wimust and I was able to attend the WIMUST Conference from July 4-7, 2013, in Fiuggi, Italy!
Then, I continued on to the Umbria Jazz Festival in Perugia, where I met several friends, new and old. Finally, I took the train up to Switzerland, where I attended the Montreux Jazz Festival, and stayed a week with my friend who owns Seehotel Baren, in Brienz. Wow! How about manifestation! My seven days spent in Brienz were totally renewing and I got to visit with my dear friend Monique, who runs the hotel, after not seeing her for 18 years!
Upon my return to Florida, after 23 days of travel on planes, trains and in automobiles, I decided to renovate myself by cutting my hair. I had been twisting my hair for about four years and it was definitely time for a cosmetic overhaul. My cousin Paul Miller had a salon in Hollywood that I had never visited. So, I returned on Saturday, and went to get a hair cut on Monday, which is usually a closed day for salons. But Paul’s was open and he did a great job because I got so many compliments from the moment I left his shop.
So, now it was time to get in gear to move out of my friend’s townhouse. But where would I go? I put the word out on Facebook and in email that I was in need of a new place to live. BAM! Another friend sent me an email about a townhouse in Delray Beach, Florida, that would come available September 1, but I would have to share it with a young woman named Kat, who had a dog. UGH! Dogs are not my favorite things. But I needed to move. Still, I had not money, no job, and only a social security check that really wasn’t that much because I chose to take it early, at 62, since the government was screaming about cutting benefits and I didn’t want to lose all that I had paid into it, all my working life.
Ask and ye shall receive!
I took a ride 30 miles north to Delray Beach to see the place and fell in love with it, immediately. The wheels in my head started turning to make manifest this opportunity. I took photos of my room-to-be and the common areas Kat and I would share. Still, with no money in the bank, I had to figure out how I would pay the deposit and first month’s rent. I reverted to a child and went to my father, who agreed, immediately, to help me. I had to borrow from two other friends to pay for the truck and storage unit I would need, since all of my belongings that occupied my two bedroom, two bath I lived in from 1997 to 2013, would not fit into the townhouse. Up until the Saturday before the move on Sunday, I was $120 short. But my dear friend LH went to my bank and made that deposit that put me in the black. I was on my way to Delray!
The final blessing of the move was my son’s best friend, Sean and his son Sean, Jr., who packed the truck from one storage unit in a way that my bedroom furniture and kitchen table and chairs and whatever small items I would need could go right into the townhouse, and the remainder could go to the storage unit up in Delray. I was finally back in Palm Beach County, after living in Broward County for 28 years, with short intervals living in Atlanta, GA, with my daughter, in Shanghai, China, where I sang for three months, and in Europe, where I lived and toured from 1990 to 1998. I had “returned home”, as my brother Carlton, said.
Back in 2009, I was inspired to write a blog on Reinventing My Artistry. As all in nature renews itself, so must we humans refresh, reboot, re-energize, and recognize that we are ever evolving. I AM happy to know that my life is under renovation and that I AM moving toward my new selfhood.
One Final Note
Today, I took the opportunity to interest a dear friend in purchasing some of the art I had, since I owned Motherland Bridge Gallery back in 2001, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She took three pieces and helped me move five larger pieces to a consignment shop, where they were received, graciously. Trustfully, they will sell and give me enough money to repay my Dad and be a little further ahead, financially.
As I think back on my Catholic education, I do not recall anyone mentioning whether or not those who crucified Jesus of Nazareth thought about how his mother, Mary would feel, seeing her son nailed to a cross. It is alarming how definite people are about their beliefs, while trodding all over the lives of others.
Did any of the warmongers ever think about how the mothers of the soldiers they killed would feel?
That question haunts me as I contemplate the centuries of wars waged in the name of God in every country on the globe. I’ve never been able to wrap my head around the term “Holy Wars”. Yet, cousins – Jews, Christians, and Muslims – have waged war against each other for over 3,000 years without enough people calling them out on their familial love.
Likewise, in African and Eastern cultures, different factions in China, India, and Korea cannot seem to see eye to eye. It’s a paradox. While ministers preach, today, in churches, temples, and mosques, men sit around tables, plotting how to undermine their own family members because, of course, we are All family, right?
STOP AND THINK!
I wonder how many mothers sit around plotting on how to take bread out of the mouths of the babes of their sisters.
I wonder how many sons sit around plotting on how to take the savings of their sisters and mothers.
I wonder how many sisters sit around plotting on how to take their sister’s husband.
I wonder these things because wars seem to take place between people who are family or at the least close friends. What goes wrong? Where do the paths divide to cause people to be so cruel to each other?
When the Jews plotted to kill Jesus, also a Jew, did they ever stop to think – this man is my brother, my cousin, my nephew, my relative? Did they ever stop to think – this man has a mother who will grieve his senseless death?
My heart is full this morning because I’ve lived 65 years without ever feeling that I needed to harm someone else in order to have or get something or be happy. I may have thought “I need to get away from this person in order to have peace of mind.” But never did it enter my mind that I needed to hurt someone to have personal happiness.
That is the blessing I am grateful for, today. As the mother of two, grandmother of five, great grandmother of two, ex-wife of four men, sister of one brother, aunt of one nephew, daughter of a wonderful mother and father, and friend of many, I thank God/Goddess/All That Is for the peace of mind I am feeling at this moment.
I wish I could be instrumental in helping others to see the abundance I have experienced in my life that has been my reality without ever knowingly hurting another to get where I have been, where I am, and where I have yet to go.
I pray that, today, people all over the planet have an epiphany – Know that you are blessed, each and every one of your life. Know that there is no need for conquering, competition, conflict, confrontation or conspiring. There is more than enough food, water, shelter – absolute abundance – for each and every Child of the Universe. THIS is the message I would like to convey to everyone, on this Holy Day in the Life of Planet Earth!
Today, I pray for a mass ascension for all Earthlings – Jew and Gentile, Male and Female, Old and Young, Democrat and Republican. I pray that while they are on their knees, praising God, Christians will find it in their hearts to also celebrate the Goddess, the Divine Feminine that is awakening in each of us to draw us back to the heart center in order to restore the Holy Family.
With Light and Love,
We teach people how to treat us.
If we allow people to cheat us or mistreat us, then, it happens.
If we push back on people, who fail to harmonize with who we are, usually things will change in our favor.
No mistreatment of any kind is comfortable.
Customer Service is a MUST for people doing business with other people.
The manager of a restaurant on Fort Lauderdale Beach has repudiated the opinions of nine customers, who chose to dine at this establishment. One customer received raw meat loaf and burnt veggies. Another received a hamburger with no fries. A third received what was said to be beef ribs, when, in fact, they were pork ribs and this fact was highly disputed by the cook, himself!
When two of the nine called the manager the next morning, neither received a response. When one of these two addressed the manager face-to-face, the following day, he said he never received her message. His response to meeting these two ladies of color was, “Oh, I heard about you. You are trouble.”
Treatment that is unacceptable must be discussed and this may be the perfect forum for that discussion because our destiny is tied up with how we allow people to treat us, how we give service, and how we receive it.
In my estimation, this manager has no concept of customer service nor does he care to know anything about it. The cook brought us dessert, after I said, “We should get free dessert.” He assumed that would be that. He never considered the other repercussions of this bad choice by nine hungry travel agents. He didn’t consider that we were there to review this restaurant for blogs, advertisers, magazines, newspapers, etc. He only saw nine people making trouble for him in a restaurant where two people were before we entered and only three others came in while we were there and their food came out before ours and we didn’t all get served for nearly an hour.
Now, this wouldn’t matter so much if this restaurant wasn’t in the heart of the vacation capital of the world, Fort Lauderdale, historically known for the decades of Spring Breakers and hundreds of thousands of snowbirds, particularly, Canadians. So, you might think that the health department would have some concerns about someone getting deathly ill from raw meatloaf. But neither the waitress and cook, who assured me that the pork ribs were beef (and one of our party took one of the ribs with her as proof that we had pork and not beef), nor the manager, who admitted that they were pork – not one of the three considered that any one of us -nine hungry people who made a concerted choice to eat at the restaurant, where two parties were living – could work for the health department and file a report that could close that establishment for good or write a blog that could be read by any and every person looking for the perfect getaway in South Florida.
Amid the variety of choices nearby, this group chose not to walk away from the property but to spend their vacation funds at The Village Cafe attached to the Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort. On top of that, three of us chose to dine at the Parrot, down the block from the resort, where we were served nearly burnt shrimp, mahi, and chicken wingettes that were obviously cooked in old oil.
Now, come on, the health department does enter the minds of the proprietors of these establishments, ever?
Your thoughts may be directed in the comments section below.
This vision I align with:
A Vision for Worldwide Efficiency
Adamma Holyheart writes: I would like to contribute the following for consideration to your Vision Alignment Program to be shared with your email group. I call it a Vision for Worldwide Efficiency.
We intend and envision from this moment forward that all modes of transportation, all business and industry, all forms of communications and energies, all educational systems, all medical and social organizations, all government bodies, the administration of justice and the correction of misdeeds are instantly and forever conducted with absolute efficiency; that time, natural resources, transference of information, knowledge, reason and righteousness are efficiently utilized and administered without waste or delay so as to attain a perfected world.
This year, after living in a spacious two-bedroom, two-bath apartment on a gorgeous lake for six years, I have uprooted my life to downsize.
Downsize. This is a word that has harassed so many people in the past decade that it is not funny. From the Tsunami in Indonesia and the more recent one in Japan to the devastation of Hurricane Sandy in the Northeastern states of America, people have been forced to downsize. A meteor actually hit buildings in Russia!
Something is in the air, causing human beings to re-access the value the place on things. Ownership is overrated. You learn that when a fire wipes out your belongings or when you move and realize that most of the stuff you have is from another decade or, in my case, another century.
Staying positive and not wallowing in the sorrow of being displaced has been a real challenge. Thankfully, I have friends who prefer to see me smile than cry. They have been diligent about keeping me upbeat through this time of change. Likewise, my father, brother, son, and daughter have offered words of consolation, agreeing that it was time for me to unload the heavy burden of high rent!
Now, I’m rooming with a girlfriend, who needed my help almost as much as I needed hers. This is such a blessing.
So, although moving from my beautiful lake traumatized me, I’m ok and far better off than the thousands, no millions of people who have suffered from the forced downsizing, resulting from natural disasters over the past two decades.
Ever the Grateful Goddess,
[Oakland Park, FL – December 20, 2012 @ 6:25 p.m.]
There are only 5 hours and 35 minutes before the dreaded END OF THE WORLD!
What do we expect?
We’ve had some really bad things happen around the world. Will it be the end of bad stuff happening?
What do we want to happen?
I want to acknowledge my MIGHTY I AM PRESENCE and live in this very moment as if it were one of the last moments I will ever have.
I want to acknowledge all of my teachers, all of my friends, all of my associates, all of those I’ve forgotten, and especially, all of those who remember me.
The light just went out in front of my porch.
A fire siren can be heard on the boulevard.
The train whistle is blowing.
I AM writing to say I love the life I’ve had up to this point.
I’ve had millionaire days with puffy clouds, bright sunshine, light and heavy rains, and laughter.
I have loved and been loved.
©2012 Joan Cartwright
I have asked myself these questions for over 40 years. I have contemplated my own divinity and come to the conclusion that the breath within me is the Goddess Principle that I must connect with on an hourly and daily basis. I conclude that it is folly to expect anyone else to be responsible for my life, which was given to me for a purpose. Determining that purpose is my mission.
The survivors of all catastrophe on Earth have a duty to themselves to go within, forget outward things and circumstances, and connect with their inner power. Humans tend to project their fear onto the outer world. They blame everyone else but themselves for what is happening to them, personally.
This morning, on the news, I saw a woman in Staten Island whose house was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy saying, “This can never be repaired.” She was pointing to a thing not realizing that she still had life and things have nothing to do with her survival and existence.
How can we impart this knowledge to people who focus on things rather than life itself?
I remember, in the 1980s, when a boyfriend set my house on fire. For three weeks following the fire, I lay in bed at my friend’s house, crying and lamenting the loss of all of my belongings. I was depressed about losing things but most of all, I was distraught that someone would do this kind of thing to me.
What had I done to deserve this?
In months and years to follow, I reckoned that I had learned an invaluable lesson: the loss of things cannot be compared to my life. I stood on the principle that I AM THAT, I AM. I still had breath. Blood still flowed through my veins and now, 30 years, later, I am a happy, well-adjusted woman who is focused on the Goddess within me.
No man, woman or child can sway me to believe anything other than I AM a Divine Being having a Human experience. It is my duty to send LIGHT and LOVE to the survivors of all catastrophes in the recent past – Northeast United States, Japan, the Middle East, etc.
When people awaken to their True Divine Selves, the planet will heal. Until then, nature will continue to put people in the position of discomfort. All power of the Universe is in the hearts and minds of people. Tell the person next to you to go inside and find that place of love, light, and power that can change the world!